108 Divyadesangal – R. Ponnammal – Annai Puthagalayam – 3, Sivagnanam Salai, Jagadish Building (Second Floor), T. Nagar, Chennai 600017. Phone: 9444126523. Price Rs. 400.

A treasure trove, this book captivates the reader with its fluent style and diction. Stories about the Hindu pantheon of gods and temples are legion and the 108 Vaishnava Divaydesam are no exception. The author has done deep research to come up with a comprehensive note on each Divyadesam (Srirangam, Kancheepuram and Tiruvengadam being more extensive).

The write-up combines legend and history and the beautiful verses of Azhwars and Desikan give a literary touch to this racy volume embellished with black and white drawings. As crowning glory comes the suit of Parthasarathy Agaval, Tirukkolur Pennpillai Ragasiyam and Bilva Mangala Swamy’s eulogy of Tiruvananthapuram Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy.

Throwing light on cinema

Iruttilirundu Velichcham (essays) – Asokamitiran – Natrinai Publishers – Old No. 123A (New 243A) – Triplicane High Road, Triplicane 600005 – natrinaipathipagam@gmail.com – Rs. 240.

What a fund of information Asokamitiran proves to be! His long stint with Gemini Studios has given the author deep knowledge about filmmaking as an industry. He records, in down-to-earth fashion, the inside story of hits and misses in this book that is a compilation of articles published over a period of time.

The wry humour does not fail to make the reader smile. Especially interesting is the documentation of anecdotes related to ‘Avvaiyar,’ the mega-hit starring K.B. Sundarambal. The tongue-in-cheek reference to Rajaji’s diary note comes as a surprise. Perceptive reviews of certain films find a place in this volume rounding off Asokamitiran as a versatile writer.

(Compiled by G.V.)

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